Erich Schulman (KTN4CA) -- Team OS/2 <ESCHULMAN@delphi.com> write:
> After reading most of the flamewar over AOL vs. the rest of the 'net, I
> have devised the beginnings of a scheme that may help to reduce list
> owners' problems with AOL'ers.
> 1. "Power users" will know about how to use mail messages to subscribe,
> unsubscribe, etc. They can continue to do so, and to them, AOL would
> not have changed anything.
> 2. Other users will find an easy-to-find icon which, for lack of
> something better, I'll call Mailing List Central. Opening it for the
> 3. The user open MLC for the first time and is presented with a lesson
> on mailing lists (they are not a AOL service, they are usually run by
> volunteers, and everything else this list has been talking about lately).
> 5. Along with getting a list's description, they get an estimate of how much
> mail to expect (if the owner furnishes one to AOL) and will always get a
> warning that they will need to manage their mail carefully. They are *not*
> told how to subscribe within MLC. Advanced users can get the PAML from
> Usenet and will know how to use it; they won't be interested in MLC. For
> that matter, no mail address appears in MLC unless the list owner
> specifically requests otherwise. If the user clicks "Subscribe", MLC will
> send the proper message for them, invisibly. And will do the same if a
> user chooses "Unsubscribe / Cancel". The database will make MLC smart
> enough to do all this. When (un)subscribing to a list, MLC tells them their
> request has been submitted and will not take effect immediately, and then be
> asked to confirm they read that statement.
As an AOL user, I would like to say that this is something like what I
EXPECTED them to implement for mailing lists. The current setup is not only
(apparently) lenient toward abuse (for those who can't read - David's right,
all the information IS there plain as day), but it is also a pain in the butt
to have to do everything by hand. There should be a button that says,
"subscribe to the selected list" and it should do that for you.
> 6. AOL will auto-check every incoming mail message to see if it's from a list.
> If so, a flag is set ahead of next login. Upon login, if the flag is set, the
> user is taken directly to a new mail area just for mailing lists. The mail is
> physically stored in the same place (500-message capacity still applies), but
> the user interface is different. The MLC icon appears at the top, and a note
> tells them to use it for any list activity they need to do, like unsubscribe
> or pick up another list. Of course, list messages will remain downloadable.
Sounds good. Perhaps it would even be possible to have a special reply button
that replies to the list instead of to the individual or the list-owner or
whatever, but I don't know if that's doable or not.
> 7. After each list message is read, AOL will say "This message has been read,
> please delete it if it is no longer needed." (that should sound familiar to
> some BBS users and SysOp's). Make it just a click or two to delete the message.
> If and only if they delete all list messages will the list-messages flag be
> cleared so that they won't be taken back to this area upon next login (unless
> new list messages arrive).
That would be especially good where it's possible to fill up the 500 message
limit, since we aren't used to deleting our own messages. We're used to
letting them expire.
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